Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates Set to Visit Odisha, Focus on Women Empowerment and Agriculture

Bhubaneswar: Microsoft co-founder and renowned philanthropist Bill Gates is scheduled to arrive in Bhubaneswar on February 28, according to sources. During his visit to Odisha, Gates is expected to visit Krushi Bhawan, an architectural marvel dedicated to Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment.

Gates, in his blog “GateNotes,” expressed his anticipation for the trip, highlighting his interest in a government program empowering women in low-income communities. The initiative, ongoing since 2018, assists women in acquiring skills necessary to fulfill government construction contracts. With over 22,000 groups and 52,000 projects completed, including the construction of roads, drains, and toilets, Gates sees this program as a potential model for countries facing similar challenges.

The program involves comprehensive training in engineering, accounting, contract negotiation, and project planning, enabling women to actively participate in all stages of construction and maintenance. Gates aims to engage with women involved in the program to understand their challenges and celebrate their successes firsthand.

In anticipation of his trip, Gates shared a video on social media with the caption: “I’m in India this week to experience what I believe is its greatest gift: its ability to innovate.” Reflecting on his previous visit to India in 2018, Gates shared a nostalgic family photo in front of the Taj Mahal with his father on Instagram, reminiscing about their memorable trip in 2008.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government in April 2017. The collaboration aimed to enhance the livelihoods of small farmers and promote inclusive agricultural transformation in the state.

The foundation has since been actively involved in various initiatives in Odisha, focusing on data-driven decision-making in agriculture, fisheries, and animal resources sectors, promoting diversification to high-value crops, strengthening Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), and fostering inclusive markets. Additionally, efforts have been made in digital extension services, predictive technology, and integrated farming practices to enhance agricultural productivity and sustainability in the region.


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